Silvia pulled at the lapels of her coat to keep out the early November chill as she stood with her group of friends. Her thoughts were sluggish and her vision hazy which was how she liked it most days. More often than not, the nights spent by the young adult were in back alleys near the community college she attended, drinking more than what some considered healthy. Silvia sat on top of a dumpster, her feet kicking the hollowed out chunk of metal. A few people had soft hip-hop music playing through speakers, and she bobbed her head up and down with the beat of intertwining melodies. It wasn’t like she was going anywhere in life, so might as well enjoy the limited while she had it.
Silvia declined the blunt handed to her and took another sip from her cup. The vanilla flavored vape in her hands was enough, and she didn’t need to mix weed and liquor—unless she wanted to be like the walking dead the next day.
The night went on and the soft murmur of the crowd lulled Silvia into a half-conscious state. The small part of her brain that kept its reason nagged at her to leave and go home before she passed out, but all that was waiting for her was her neglectful father and heartless stepmother. She blinked and the scenery in front of her eyes changed from a crowded alleyway to a familiar green field. The sickly sweet smell of artificial fruit and abiding stench of cannabis morphed into an aroma of clipped grass. The adolescents hunched over their vape, inhaling the smoke like it was their source of survival faded away—as if they had never existed at all. She smiled and closed her eyes, awaiting the air to rush past her ears as it always did. However, when she didn’t even get so much as a breeze an uneasy feeling crawled up her spine.
In random times in Silvia’s life or in dreams, she was sent to a lush field full of rustling green grass with a wind that carried voices. She only heard them if she remained completely still and could never make out what they were saying, but they provided an almost calming white noise. Now, there was no breeze, not even a sound—something that had never happened before. It further confirmed Silvia’s suspicions when the ground shook and the sky turned from a bright blue to a bleeding red. She was hit with a wave of nausea as the wind picked up, and the voices that once only spoke in whispers now screamed in her mind.
“Danger! Danger!” they screeched.
Silvia covered her ears in an attempt at muffling the cries, but they were so loud.
“The Protadon is coming! The Protadon is coming! Leave now!”
She felt her body being jolted by an invisible force and her eyes shot open. She was back in the alleyway, head in her hands. Somehow she went from sitting on the dumpster to sitting across from it on the cold concrete. Everyone was looking at her like she had grown an extra leg, while Fernando and Adelina stared at her with concerned faces. The twins were crouched in front of Silvia, waiting for her to regain her senses. She brushed the palm Adelina had on her shoulder away, and ran a hand through her hair. Her labored breathing evened out, and what had happened in the field had the reminiscing feeling of a bad dream.
“You alright man?” Fernando asked, his accent heavy from the amount of alcohol he had consumed.
“Yeah, I guess I must have passed out,” Silvia slurred, not making eye contact with either of them.
Adelina whispered something to Fernando that she couldn’t hear. He nodded at what she had said, and the female twin grabbed Silvia’s arm, hauling her to her feet.
“We’re taking you home,” she declared with urgency. “Right now.”